June 8, 2012

Pam Herbert Barger

WHAT SHE DID NOT DO

But for a parking space
she would have gone to watch the monks,
their stillness in the midst of mandala-making
an antidote to the double espresso
quickening her blood—

espresso as response
to frigid late-October air,
friends, tallgrass, song sparrows,
even lying right down on the
skin of the turning planet.

She did not mourn lack of serendipity.
Parking space, no parking space.
Monks, no monks.
Is one outcome better?

It’s not that she set out
to do any one thing.

               What she did not do, however,

cannot be called
nothing.

from Rattle #36, Winter 2011
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